**Warning- Graphic Content**
Herney the Great (pronounced Her-nay) is going to redefine Houston’s rap culture. With 10 years of production work, emceeing, and working with notable artists like K-Rino & Michael 5000 Watts under his belt, he will confidently tell you that he is better than Kanye [West] was at his age of 26. He gives this statement clout through his deep knowledge of rap history, his grind, and the blessing of being exposed first hand to heavy-hitting Houston artists that took him under their wings.
His first mixtape “Houston Hard Hitters: The Future of the South Volume One released in November 2010, feat. Young A & hosted by Swishahouse takes the listener through the Houston sound, yet, in place of any weak redundancy, the listener travels through genius sampling & hard-hitting lyrics that touch on themes of ambition, growth, and grind mixed with the struggle of being Black and aware in HTown.
His follow up release in May 2011, “Diary of a Young Black Male”, is Herney’s ‘audio-biographical street album. Through chapters of unique lyrical narratives over trunk-rattling production, he introduces his passion for creating indescribable music to it’s listeners.’
Herney the Great is definitely about his business and ARR contributor, Melody Luna, had the chance to talk to him about his creative journey. With only the illumination from the setting sun & the lights bouncing off his mixer & screen set up, this is what we learned about this pure artist.
“I have a purple soul!”
“See, you draw inspiration from a whole lot of places. Whatever is right. I think i’m inspired by life. As an artist, I have to put out what comes from me being inspired.”
[Herney then begins breaking down the end of the film, Ali, the original song & sound bite from the film, and how it became the sample to one of the singles for his next project, Hello Houston]
On How He Decides Who to Work With:
“As I meet people, I check out who they are as a person and where they are. Where I am at now, i’ve invested entirely too much of myself to just be giving myself away to people. So if I see, okay they are ambitions… they are on their on their grind…
Greater Society, my label, is about to push “Herney the Great’ products, but after that, I’m pushing other artists because I have too much producer juice in me.”
[He goes into a house party story where he met Black James by freestyling over Cry Me A River (on youtube) and now, how they came to collaborate]
“I learn from everybody. I keep my ears open to new things and sounds. I listen to a lot of music. Even new styles. Let’s take a person who doesn’t even make the same style of music as me, like Fetty Wap. He still has something to offer culture. It might not be the substance that we take, but it still made it to mass media. So, there was something captivating about Fetty Wap that garnered attention to the thing he has going on. That’s something you can learn from any artist.
When I was young, Kanye West was a big inspiration. But growing up…I grew up on so much Southern [explititive] that it’s ingrained in us. I can’t escape my Southerness! I can still be Herney the Great, political everyting, but I can’t forget my people of Houston Texas because i’m from here. It’s in me! I have a purple soul!”
[Herney plays single, Eat This Sh*t, to demonstrate how he goes from conscious to trap]
“You take inspiration when it’s there. Our ideas are not from us. It all comes from the Source. Everything that is goodness comes from the Man upstairs.”
On Artistry & the Houston Hip Hop Climate:
“[My albums] have been expressions of my ego… I spoke on things going on at the time… I even gave knowledge. I remain true to my Southern roots. I would call myself a Pure artist. When I’m inspired, I create out of that inspiration.
Where i’m going now as an artist and a crew, we’re making a climate. In order for Herney the Great to be Herney, The Sauce Twinz had to be The Sauce Twinz. They had to get their wave. Everything comes in full circle and it has to have balance. So, when my disk drops in the market, those people who might not necessarily flock to this side of what’s being put out, can get something else that we have to offer. You can’t always have turn up and I think that’s what we add. We add the other side… the new version of the story that hasn’t been told. We are progressing.
We are creating the climate. The old doesn’t matter anymore. The youth want what we have. We haven’t been a solidified group like the Sauce movement. Which, I respect that, because we had to have that. Greater Society is created out of us being together and being all creators.”
On the Grind:
“I’ve been actively doing this for 10 + years of my life. I have written millions of songs, produced sessions for a whole bunch of people. It takes being active. It took people believing in the movement for it to get going. You have to do ground work. J. Prince. Slim Thug. Every great movement started from down here and they worked their way up & as you go along people are going to help you up and it’s your duty to bring people with you. That’s what it takes. God has blessed me.”
On the Future:
“Building my fan base. This year we are going to release product and grow the audience of Herney the Great. In order for me to become a dominant figure in our market, my sound has to be dominant in our market. The only way to do that is through the people. So this year we are fixing to get to the people. Without the fans, this would not exist. Houston history would not exist. We actively made our Houston artist. Like, RiFF RaFF. I don’t care what nobody says about this man, I’ve seen this man out there hustling his CDs! That core belief that… he did it! I seen this man at Greenspoint Mall with the fake chains on! The Bart Simpson Chains on! I seen this man hustle his way up there…You can’t knock that hustle. And that’s how we have to do it. God has been blessing me with the right people around me to help the situation go where it needs to. Building this base and running it like a business. That’s the goal. That’s the goal of the label, Greater Society.
Herney talks about how he’s always progressing. How he is not the artist or the person he was on his first two albums and he’s ready to share with his audience the next level of himself.
Herney the Great’s next project, Hello Houston, is slated for release February 2016.